Many girls dream of their knight in shining armor, a perfect wedding, and a happily ever after ending. Disney princesses give them hope to find love and happiness along with emphasizing their want for the beauty and grace princesses illustrate. Authors of “Cinderella and Princess Culture” and “The Princess Paradox,” Peggy Orenstein and James Poniewozik respectively, agree that most girls like princesses. However, these articles convey differing parental opinions on lessons girls learn from princesses and the unfavorable effects this has at their young age. Orenstein describes her negative views on princesses through her experiences with her daughter and the knowledge of Andy Mooney’s business decisions on princesses.
Even when Disney began to feature strong women who could kind of save themselves, like Jasmine, Esmeralda, and Megara, Disneyfied societies clung onto the misogynistic ideals of the past. Disneyfication perpetuates sexism and the idea that females are the weaker sex, while Disney continues to move forward with strong female characters, like Nani from Lilo and Stitch, and Tiana from The Princess and the
Amanda Putnam’s essay, “Mean Ladies: Transgendered Villains in Disney Films”, is a compelling piece on gender portrayal and views in Disney films. Putnam opened the essay with a personal anecdote about her daughter. Her daughter wanted a Disney movie without a “mean lady”, as in most Disney films the villains are scary, evil women. The real life evidence strengthened her claim that children are noticing the characterization of female villains in Disney films. The antidote was brought fill circle when she referred back to her daughter in the final paragraphs of her essay.
Keeping this transition in mind, this paper uses semiotic analysis of four popular Disney films, namely, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), The Little Mermaid (1989) and Mulan (1998) to depict the influence of societies ' changing perceptions of women on the portrayal of Disney princesses. These films taking into account the earliest film and certain popular characters that have represented a shift from being the coy damsel in distress to a woman who plays an active role in determining her own destiny. The portrayal of the Disney princess has changed in accordance with the development of women in society over time (1937 to 2013) from demure and traditional to
Most Disney princess movies establish these female archetypes of physical attributes and personal characteristics each princess must obtain in order to fit within the ‘norm’ of what a female is defined and seen as. Physical attributes include a petite figure, voluminous hair, and symmetrical faces (example within image #1 on page 11). In addition to these are the personal characteristics of dependence and naivete. Although these standards of a ‘perfect’ female may have not been created by Disney, they surely have been reinforced by it. Common features seen throughout Disney films are princesses being given natural beauty, which in turn is what defines them as a princess.
Personification and love were not the only things Villeneuve used in her article, but she also included feministic traits on Beauty to show that she made her own conscious decision of staying with the Beast. Ashely Ross, writer for Time Magazine, writes that Villeneuve’s fairy tale is a strong written fairy tale that contains a strong lead female character that is very intelligent and is able to make her own choices (Ross). With Ross writing this, it is easy to realize how much feminism was inserted into this fairy tale. By Villeneuve having Beauty to be so intelligent and giving her the capability to make her own choices, she shows that Beauty is not the type of girl who could easily be told what to do, or even be fooled into doing something
The story of Cinderella lead me to believe two things: in order to have a better life, I must have a boyfriend and that makeovers fix everything. Disney movies not only constructed my ideas of femininity, but they also imposed gendered sexuality on me at an early age through the use of patriarchy within these films. The message that a woman is lost without a man upholds the dominant social position of men and the submissive social position of women. Due to the emphasis on hetero-romantic love and the construction of heterosexual relationships as magical and natural, I learned to value my appearance as a little girl by wearing makeup, wearing nice clothes and styling my hair so that I could get my prince-charming, who would then validate my femininity. Moreover, my idolization of Disney princesses refined my knowledge on
The findings of this study indicate that body image-related messages, especially those concerning beauty and thinness, are prevalent in the examined Disney films. Physical appearance is noticeably prioritized over other attributes of characters. It is seen that the dominant source of female beauty is physical attractiveness, specifically thinness. Characters beauty in the movies tends to be associated with goodness whereas unattractive features tend to be associated with evil. This concludes that the embodiment of the “thin ideal” throughout mass media is proven to be prevalent starting at a very young age for women.
Magic was the key to Cinderella’s story, much as it was the key to Carrie’s. Though there are still major differences in the two stories, Carrie and Cinderella, the premise was the similar and there was plenty of connections that could be found throughout the novel, Carrie, and the movie, Cinderella. They shared a mother figure who was abusive, peers who unabatingly bullied them, a “Prince Charming”, and just a touch of magic. Though Carrie herself did not exactly get a “happily ever after” herself, she still succeeded in enacting revenge and taking away everyone else’s “happily ever after”, and in Carrie’s mind, perhaps that was
This caused the failure of Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters to create a familial relationship with Cinderella. Disney even designated specific body figures and movements for Cinderella aside from her stepmother and stepsisters. According to the article, “Somatexts at the Disney Shop” by Elizabeth Bell, “The language of ballet, and its coded conventions for spectatorship of “high” art, are embedded in the bodies of young Disney women.”. This well represents how Disney cinema agreed with the patriarchal gender schema. Ballet, one of the most beautiful forms of art, was used to construct the most feminine-like Disney princesses to normalize the denial of women dominance.
Again Alyss’ seems to have grown immensely from this experience in many ways, especially the rites of passage she goes through . From a bratty but creative, easily trackable fun loving young princess. Into a mature, confident, intelligent queen who seems more worried the land she rules than herself. Even then she still seems to be the best for what she has to do, especially when compared to Redd. So that is Alyss Heart 's rites of passage in The Looking Glass